What to do this year
Get involved in your school and community.
There’s more to life than just going to class and doing homework—joining a club, playing a sport, or getting involved in drama or music will make you a more well-rounded student. Extracurricular activities give you the chance to explore your interests and find out what you’re good at.
Explore college options.
Start thinking now about what you want to do after high school, and find out about what opportunities are available. The more you understand now, the easier decisions will be as you get close to graduation.
- Read through the Utah College Directory to discover what colleges in Utah may be right for you.
- Talk with your parents, friends and community members about their college experience, and start thinking about what you want out of yours. Some questions to consider:
- Do you want to live on campus or at home?
- Want to go to a large college or a small one? Live in the city or rurally?
- Does the college you are interested in offer a program in an area you want to study? Discover more at UtahMajors.org.
- What fun opportunities and extracurricular activities are you interested in? Study abroad, student government, intramural sports, internships?
Do high school right.
Now that you’re in high school, colleges will look at your grades and classes. Do your best and study hard so you have the best chance to be accepted to your choice of colleges and qualify for scholarships.
- If you haven’t already, sign up to be a StepUp Utah Scholar and learn how the program can help you be ready for college.
- Meet with your school counselor and develop a four-year high school plan.
- Sign up for the monthly StepUp newsletter to get college preparation tips. The newsletter also includes links to scholarships that you can apply to.
- Review the Regents’ Scholarship requirements.
Learn about the different ways to pay for college.
Now’s the time to start researching your options.
- Read about the various ways to pay for college, including scholarships, grants, work-study, and student loans. Remember to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) your senior year.
- Make a plan to pay for college with your parents.
- Start to build a scholarship and college admissions resume to track your achievements, such as organizations you’re involved with, clubs you belong to, and volunteer hours you’ve done. Use the template found in the StepUp scholarship toolkit to get you started.
- With the help of an adult, open a college savings account for you. Learn more at uesp.org. If you already have a saving account, contribute what you can to it.